May 31, 2005

First Fresno Chile Pod

The peppers in my garden are starting to bloom and form pods. This picture is of the first Fresno Chile to appear in my salsa garden this year. It is still green. I won't harvest it for my breakfast until it ripens to a bright red. I have four Fresno Chiles in the garden, so I'm hoping for lots of pods. The Fresno Chile is my favorite all purpose cooking chile.

May 30, 2005

Chile Plants Lost in the Mail

It is official. My package from the Chile Woman has been lost in the mail. I have been very angry with the post office over this. There have been mis-labeled tags left in my mail box and other issues. I have emailed the chile woman about the situation and hope to hear from her after the holiday is over about reshipping my order. It is not her fault that my local post office can't seem to do their job.

My constant disappointments with finding the chile seedlings that I want has taken a toll on my contentment with my chile growing hobby. I need to start my own seeds in January instead of relying on buying plants and get my specialty chiles in that manner. It is less expensive to go this route and easier to get the seeds than to get live plants. I will start to watch the garden centers for sales on seed starting cels and find a waterbed heater with temperature control to use next winter.

Hopefully, seeds will come my way via the chilehead exchange that I belong to. I don't have much to offer in exchange, but perhaps a few people will take pity on me and send a dozen seeds my way here and there if I pick up the postage.

May 24, 2005

Tepin Chile Planted

I decided to plant my Tepin Chile into the raised bed this morning. It has not been faring well in its pot due to the heatwave we've been going through the last couple of days and I didn't want to risk losing it again. It is very small and is at risk to the cutworms, but since I only paid 50 cents for the plant, if I lose it I am not out much. Once the chile was planted, I did some general weeding in the bed. Those vines are starting to sprout here and there and I want to make sure that they don't get another foothold in my garden. I was afraid that this might happen since they had overrun my pepper beds last winter. Those roots are hard to get rid of. Already, more of the invasive plants are poking through the fence toward my fragile peppers.

For watering the pepper bed, I used the soaker hose system. I am still not happy with the distribution of the water around my plants, but I will attempt to work on that this week since I have more free time. I want to get a four way valve on the faucet too. Then I will dedicate one faucet for the pepper bed, one for my dog's self-filling water bowl and another for my handwatering hose that covers my backyard.

May 22, 2005

Loss of the Tepin Chile Plant?

We've been having a heatwave here in Southern California. Normally, it doesn't get this hot until at least June, but the weather has been very strange this year. I've been away at work for the last few days and have not been able to keep up with my handwatering. Tonight, I had a look at the little tepin chile in its pot and it looked like a dried stick. I gave it water hoping that it wasn't too late, but I have a feeling I have lost the plant. My pots of herbs are also suffering. Several of the plants are dying and my parsley is bolting. I will need to make a few replacements there as well.

At least the peppers in the bed are fairing well. They are sheltered from the worst of the heat in my east yard and while they didn't get water, the bed retained enough moisture to keep them healthy. I gave all the plants a good dose of water this evening and I think that the majority of my plants will be fine.

May 19, 2005

Thai Dragon Pepper Removed

After I was done handwatering my raised bed, I decided to get in some weeding in my east yard where my pepper garden is. I got the three or four weeds that had sprung up in the bed itself and then got to work on the gravel path surround the bed. Some grass and clover has sprung up through the weed barrier and I want to make sure that I get it out before it goes to seed. I was surprised to discover that a bit of bopoca had also taken root in the ground under one of my fuchsia baskets. It must have fallen out of the basket this winter. It too is now in the weed can.

Once that was completed, I took another look at the thai dragon pepper that had fallen over due to the weak, chewed up, stem. I noticed that it had a single pepper forming on it, but even so I decided to remove it and added it to the weed can. Then I took the two extra cayenne pepper seedlings from the nursery that I had not planted and disposed of them too. The cayenne peppers in my bed are doing fine, so I don't believe I need the backups any longer. I'm expecting my box from the chile woman any day now, so my raised bed needs to be ready to receive the new pepper plants. I can hardly wait for them to arrive!

May 15, 2005

Whisper Rose

While I normally focus on my peppers and other salsa elements of the garden, I wanted to share a photo of my Whisper Rose in its first flush of spring bloom. Whisper is white with a touch of cream on the reverse, truly an outstanding HT rose.

May 07, 2005

Loss of a Thai Dragon Pepper?

I've been out of town on business for the past week. When I go, my gardens always suffer a little. This time was no exception. My husband did water the peppers for me during my absence, but sometimes even this is not enough to stop trouble.

When I went out to check on my pepper garden this morning, I was surprised to find that my thai dragon pepper was lying on its side in the bed. At the base of the stem it looks like something had knawed the plant away. Could it be a cutworm? I thought the pepper was large enough to handle the cutworm problem, but perhaps I was wrong. The plant is still alive and starting to grow up at the end and even flowering, but I'm considering removing it altogether. I will either find a new thai dragon chile or perhaps I'll plant that little Tepin Chile in its place.

Two of my bell peppers are starting to flower. All four are looking very healthy and gaining more height. I will need to cage or stake them soon. So far, none of the chiles have flowered except the thai dragon. This is okay. I think that it is better if your chiles and bells don't flower until July. The plants develop better roots and seem to get stronger in general.